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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).

GRUAGACH, n. Also grugach, greogach. A brownie. Also attrib. Gael. [′gruɔgəx]w.Sc. 1775 S. Johnson Journey 247:
In Troda, within these three-and-thirty years, milk was put every Saturday for Greogach, or the Old Man with the Long Beard. Whether Greogach was courted as kind, or dreaded as terrible, whether they meant, by giving him the milk, to obtain good, or avert evil, I was not informed.
w.Sc. 1948 Scots Mag. (July) 281–282:
In parts of the Western Highlands and in the Isles were to be found, until a generation or so ago, upright stones known as “Gruagach stones.” The Gruagach was a species of brownie who presided over the cattle of a farm, and a portion of the milk of a herd was invariably offered up to him by pouring some of it into a hollow in the top of one of these upright stones . . . Scarcely a district in the Western Highlands was without its “Gruagach stone.”
w.Sc. 1950 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 237:
Flora, a little Skye maid of some ten or twelve years of age . . . bashfully, but with mischief shining in her bright blue eyes, warned us to beware of the Grugach who haunted this glen “Who is the Grugach, and what will she do to us?” we asked, hoping to get some local legend or tradition, but only got the reply that she was a little old woman who might flick our faces with a switch as we passed.

[Gael. gruagach, brownie, young woman or man with long hair.]

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"Gruagach n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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